Chairman's Report

Chairman's Report

AGM December 2016

This has been a particularly active and exciting year for the Trust.

As you will see in more detail in the following Board Report , the Trust has enhanced its understanding of how better to transform the lives of seriously disadvantaged children, whose future would otherwise be bleak – some of them even facing the longer term prospect of being taken into care, having their family ties broken and almost certainly being unable to fulfil their potential. This has driven our determination to make further improvements to the ways in which we optimise our relationship with the children, their families and the schools we work with, and to increase the funds available which are crucial to the whole operation.

A major internal review of our revised approach to supporting children has confirmed its efficacy. This includes our quality control of the grant making procedure and the closer monitoring of children's progress at school (both academic and social) together with the high standards of pastoral care and reporting we require from the schools we work with.

I reported last year on our having embarked on a project to raise significantly more funds than in the past, supported by refreshed branding and a new website. This year, having engaged the services of an external fundraising consultant who had undertaken a fundraising health check of the organisation, we embarked on the development and implementation of a three year sustainable fundraising strategy to enable the Trust to realise its strategic aims. We have recently recruited a new Director of Fundraising to lead and develop our fundraising strategy and we greatly appreciate the support we have had from a range of trusts, foundations and associations. With their help, we exceeded the 2015/16 annual fundraising target of £128,000 set by the Board. We have ambitious plans to further increase our income through building a special relationship with a group of high level regular donors and by making more applications to grant making organisations. We now have a new range of publicity material to support these activities.

The Trust is very proud to have Her Majesty the Queen as our patron and we were delighted to be one of over 600 charities and organisations to take part in the spectacular street party on Sunday 12 June 2016 in The Mall, to celebrate The Queen's 90th birthday. We were thrilled to be selected as one of only 14 charities to have a film made about us: The Patron's Hero, which featured the story of one of Reedham's old scholars (from the days when the organisation was Reedham School) who remains involved in supporting the work of the Trust today. To our delight, the Trust was also named as one of five charities in Sir Stuart Etherington's opening address to the Royal family.

During the year many constructive strategic contacts have been made at local and national levels. This includes government and non-government organisations concerned with providing support to vulnerable children and young people.

Paul Julius, Chair